12/17/04 FOX Poll: Most Americans Pray (and Floss) Frequently

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On a daily basis, Americans claim they are twice as likely to say "I love you" as to say a curse word, and six times more likely to say a prayer than to take a drink, according to a FOX News poll released Friday.

The national poll asked the public to rate how often they do certain activities — everything from watching television to flossing their teeth. What tops the list of things people do several times each day? Telling someone they love him or her.

Saying "I love you" was citied by nearly half (48 percent) of Americans as something they do several times a day. Women are slightly more likely than men to express their feelings that frequently, but fully 83 percent of women and 75 percent of men say they tell someone they love them at least once a day.

Opinion Dynamics Corporation (search) conducted the national telephone poll of 900 registered voters for FOX News on December 14-15.

Almost a third of the public say they pray several times a day, and two thirds pray at least once a day. Less than one in 10 Americans say they "never" pray.

Those most likely to pray on a daily basis include non-whites (83 percent), seniors (79 percent), women (75 percent), Republicans (74 percent) and Southerners (74 percent). "Red" state residents are 10 percentage points more likely to pray daily than those living in "Blue" states.

Cursing or swearing is also a fairly frequent activity for Americans, as 23 percent report using foul language several times a day and an additional 15 percent once a day. Who are the worst offenders? Fifty percent of men say they curse daily compared to 27 percent of women, and 49 percent of people under the age of 30 report swearing daily compared to 20 percent of those over age 65.

About six in 10 say they floss their teeth daily, with a well-trained 18 percent reporting they floss several times a day. At the other end of the spectrum, 11 percent say they never floss.

When it comes to exercise, about two thirds workout either daily (32 percent) or weekly (33 percent). That's almost twice as often as Americans report having a drink of alcohol and more than twice as often as they think about terrorist attacks.

One in five people say they think about terrorist attacks at least once a day, including 6 percent who say they think about attacks several times a day. Even so, a 36 percent plurality thinks about terrorist attacks only a few times a year or never.

Of the activities included in the survey, drinking alcohol is the least frequent on a daily basis as well as when daily and weekly categories are combined. Just over one in 10 Americans say they have an alcoholic drink every day, while nearly half (48 percent) say they either rarely (14 percent) or never (34 percent) touch the stuff.

"While these results are interesting, they have to be taken with a grain of salt," comments Opinion Dynamics President John Gorman. "Survey respondents are well known to overstate behaviors they believe are virtuous, like praying and flossing, and understate those, such as drinking, they feel might open them up to criticism."

• PDF: Click here for complete poll results